Minnesota’s receivers took accountability for an embarrassing 12-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday, November 27 — but it’s clear the honeymoon with Dobbs is over after the offense accounted for four interceptions that night.
Rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison, who saw a team-high 10 targets, was visibly upset at his locker after the game. According to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, Justin Jefferson and Dobbs consoled the 21-year-old, who was hard on himself for a second-quarter pass that tipped off his hands and led to an interception.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell said Addison needed to get his head and eyes around coming out of his break, while also alluding that Dobbs rushed the pass.
“The ball kind of got up on me fast as soon as I turned out of the break,” Addison told the Star Tribune on November 27. “But I just got to make that catch. I got to make that catch.”
Fourth-year wide receiver K.J. Osborn was asked if Dobbs’ inexperience in the Vikings offense had caught up to the team.
“I don’t know,” Osborn said. “Obviously, he’s in a tough position. He still just got here, still trying to get the [familiarity] of our offense.”
Veteran Brandon Powell, who had the team’s largest gain on a 28-yard completion over cornerback Kyler Gordon, didn’t believe the Bears did enough to slow the Vikings’ sixth-ranked passing attack, and that the offense just wasn’t up to its standards.
“Man, the Chicago Bears [defensive backs] is trash,” Powell said. “That’s just simple. They were trash. We just hurt ourselves, that’s all.”
Vikings WR Jordan Addison Takes Fault in Foul Ball Thrown by Josh Dobbs
Down 9-3 in the fourth quarter, Dobbs delivered a deep pass to Addison, who was a bit turned around on the play, and caught the pass well out of bounds.
O’Connell called the throw a “foul ball” on Dobbs’ behalf, but Addison took responsibility for not giving himself a better chance to make a play.
“I feel like I got to stay in bounds, get my feet down,” Addison said. “I knew I was close, but I’m running vertical and the ball was kind of taking me back out [of bounds]. I just got to get my feet down there.”
Addison wasn’t willing to give himself the rookie pass for his performance. He is currently third among rookies with 686 yards receiving and ranks first with seven touchdown catches, tied for the most by a rookie receiver this season.
“Couple weeks ago I’d probably tell you it’s going good,” he said of his first year in the NFL. “But now I feel like I ain’t doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not really proud of how I’ve been playing these last stretch, so got to pick it up.”
Tight end T.J. Hockenson said the bye week will be big for rookies like Addison, who isn’t accustomed to playing more than about 12 games in a college season.
“He’s going be a really good wide receiver in this league, and he just needs to continue with that belief and understand things happen throughout the season,” Hockenson said. “There’s ebbs and flows.”
T.J. Hockenson Speaks on Vikings’ Offensive Decline
The Vikings’ leading pass-catcher through 13 weeks, Hockenson echoed a similar frustration with not executing on Monday night.
He currently has 80 receptions for 786 yards receiving and five touchdowns, leading all tight ends in receptions and yards.
“We just couldn’t get that rhythm going that we can usually find. We got the ball back and we just need to end it on our terms rather than letting the defense and having them go back out there,” Hockenson said of the Vikings failing to convert one final series after going up 10-9 late in the game. “They did their jobs throughout the night, we just didn’t do ours.”